TRIVIUM - "Silence In The Snow" Interview with Corey Beaulieu

American Heavy Metal band TRIVIUM have just released their seventh studio album by the title of “Silence in The Snow”. To date, the band from Orlando, Florida, has sold over one million albums worldwide. Eagerly anticipated by fans and critics alike, “Silence in the Snow” marks a new era for the band. In August, the band played a fill-in show in Vienna. We used the opportunity to talk with guitarist Corey Beaulieu about the follow-up to the 2013 release “Vengeance Falls”, his influences and favourite guitar albums of all time.

Corey, it’s great to have you here and I think next time when you come you will have to book a bigger venue because the Szene Wien venue is totally sold out tonight.

Yeah, well, it’s just kind of like a fill-in show. We didn’t want to do a bigger show at this time because eventually when the record, the new record comes out and we do like a full like European tour with a package with some other bands and stuff like that and that will be kind of like the big stuff.  This is just kind of like a small intimate and kind of fun show.

So it will be really hot and sweaty in that place tonight, so it’s going to be pretty intense. 


I hope you have lots of water on the stage ...

Yeah (laughs).  But the vibe should be cool, everyone just packed in there and going crazy.  So – but yeah, it’s – you know the last time we played the Gasometer. So and that was a big show. This is just kind of like little – you know. Usually, we do festivals over in Europe, and they are all in the weekends and you have a lot of days during the week to fill up time. We will either play some smaller markets that we do not normally play on a bigger tour, or, if we do play in a city, we just underplay it, and play a really small kind of special type show that kind of makes it like exclusive since there’s only a limited amount of tickets.



I understand you will you be playing songs from the new album?

We will be playing two songs.


Can you tell us about the new album please? 

We set out to just make a really epic kind of classic. Like it’s a modern record but we definitely took a lot of inspiration for creating the record from a lot of our influences of just listening to old records that had an impact on us. We asked ourselves why are they kind of revered as classics and we’re just not really like trying to copy sonically or write songs like that but we tried to create a record from start to finish that has all types of songs that make it one piece of work.  When you listen to all of those IRON MAIDEN records there are short songs, and they have longer epics, slower, faster – the whole range.

We wanted to hit all corners of not having all of the songs sound like the same song.  Very different from each other, and they should set themselves apart.  And we wanted to try to take the hook factor and really amplify it with the guitar hooks, the vocal hooks, making every song sound catchy, so that you can’t get it out of your head. 

Please tell us about the title “Silence in the Snow”.


Well, that song pretty much was the starting point of the album. It is an old song that we wrote like six, seven years ago, or at least the main part of the song we wrote during the song writing sessions for the “Shogun” record. So there was a song that we had written, but which we ended up not using.  And it had just been kind of sitting on the shelf for all these years, and we have talked about possibly using it over the years but the kind of material, the direction of the records after “Shogun”, the song did not really fit the vibe of that either.  So it is as if the song has been waiting for the right time to come back, and stood for the ideas of what we wanted to do with the new record. “Silence in the Snow” was like the blueprint of the direction of what we were looking to achieve. 


We listened to the song, and we were like “yeah, this is kind of – fits exactly with our thinking”, and we knew how to take the new record forward. So we worked on that song and started writing the other songs.  So that was like the first building block for the record and everything spawned off of the vibe of that song.  That song has a special meaning for us. We thought that it would be a great thing to name the record after it. It has a special meaning to us because of when it was written, why it was written and the story behind the song. So it made perfect sense to make it the creative jumping point for the album.  And plus some of our fans have over the years heard of that title, obviously not knowing what it sounded like, but the title has been out there so it’s kind of familiar with people.

Coming full circle like knowing the title but now you have the music to that.

Yeah, the song’s a little bit different than the way it was written. We rewrote the middle sections, and we added key changes and stuff like that, and tweaked the vocals, but at least the core idea with the lyrics and the main riffs are still there.

Who wrote most of the songs on the new album?

It’s a mix.  You know, definitely when we were writing the majority of the songs, Paolo and I were definitely the main musical driving forces. Paolo and I had written so much stuff together and Matt was preparing for the record because he had his vocal problem, while we were on tour that he was just pretty much training like three or four hours a day getting his voice back to shape to make the record. Paolo and I just kind of took it up ourselves to write the majority of the stuff.  By the time we got into jamming Matt was kind of like fresh since he had not been full on in it that he wrote a lot of stuff like during the preproduction stuff of having a riff idea.  So he was like closer in the songwriting department, when we were at the very end. While we were kind of making the little changes and changing parts, he was busting out a lot of riffs that really made the songs. He provided the finishing touch to the point  where we were like “all right, now it feels like the song is done”.

So yeah, it was definitely cool the way the record all came together. Everyone knew exactly what kind of  direction to write in.

What equipment did you use? 

Just kind of whatever works.  I did all my stuff on one of my signature guitars, pretty much the whole record on just one guitar.  All the leads and melodies and stuff.

Do you have it with you tonight?

No, I didn’t bring it out. I’ve never brought that guitar out on tour. My guitars get pretty smashed and beaten up on tour.

I have guitars that I have been using live for a while. When I get them from Jackson after they build them, I do a lot of customizing it, with adding different parts to make it sound better.  So I have certain guitars that I am just really comfortable using live and then in the studio I just brought a bunch of guitars over and just this one guitar for like soloing and stuff, just had the right sound.  And it was a guitar that they had built me last summer and I have never used it on stage or anything. 

I definitely have some guitars that I just know are good for the studio, and some guitars, if I use it in the studio, I kind of just designate it for being at home.

So if I can prevent it from getting all dinged up and screwed up, I’ll try to keep it that way.


How many guitars do you normally use?  I mean, how many would there be in your arsenal?

On tour, normally, if I could bring everything out that I needed, because I like to have a main and then a backup. And if I could I’d probably the least amount of guitars I would bring about six.

But right now I only have four out with me. We play one song in standard tuning and I had a hard-tail version of my guitar built so I can use it as a drop tuning backup and then tune it up for a single string.  So it is a guitar for different purposes. Then we have the seven string stuff and the new album will be in another new tuning that we did.  So if we end up playing those songs I’ll have to figure out how to bring more guitars.

Tell us about your tunings.  Which tunings do you use?

Different records have different tunings. We play seven string standard tuning,  but for a while we tuned everything half-step down, so even the songs that were in standard drop D, we would play half a step down.

So, basically drop D but half a step down?

Yeah, on the records, like “Ascendancy” is in drop D standard, “The Crusade” in B standard and like E standard, “Shogun” in the same thing.  And then the “In Waves” record is when we started doing like the C sharp, drop C sharp or D flat, whatever you want to call it.  Then the same with “Vengeance Falls”, and then this record since we’ve been playing live with the half step down, the new record is in D flat standard tuning and D flat tuning, and then there is another new tuning that we will surprise everyone when it comes out.

I would not want to be your roadie (laughs) ...

Well, we only use the drop tunings, like all the old stuff that’s in like B standard, we’ll just play it like B flat just so it’s like weird to play.  That’d be a lot of tunings, so we’re not U2 and bring out like 50 guitars.  So we just kind of keep it like that.  We’re used to the old stuff.

Do you practice while on tour?

I warm up before we play. 

Is there a particular warm-up exercise you practice?

I just kind of fiddle around, I don’t – you know, Matt has a very regimented routine, he plays the same exercises every day to warm up.  And I will just kind of play some scales or repetitive exercises, or play some riffs – it depends on how the hands feel. 

After making a record and doing the whole process of that you just put the guitar away for a little bit just to decompress from the amount of stuff you have to think of with writing.  So – and now that the record’s done and stuff’s coming out and it’s just fun just to go back to enjoying this, playing shows and not have to think about it. It’s always good to keep writing that, you know, it’s like any skill, you keep the muscle strong.


Is the life of a rock star what you expected it to be when you first started?

We never really thought out of it as wanting to be rock stars or famous.  We just all liked playing music and writing songs and we all just like playing our instruments and being able to write music.  Having the opportunity to get signed to a label that supports us and lets us have complete creative freedom over what we do. We have a tradition when the record comes out: we go to the store the day it comes out and get ourselves a copy.  And so even being our seventh album it’s still exciting for us to put out a record and see our record  on the shelf next to those of our heroes.

What are your three favourite all-time records? And, next question, from a guitarist’s point of view that you benefited most and that influenced and inspired you most?

There are definitely more than three.  I would say that when growing up,  and when I was learning the guitar, the really impactful stuff included IRON MAIDEN. They were a huge influence, especially because one of my favourite things in writing music is writing guitar melodies. “Hallowed By Thy Name” was one of my favourite songs to play as a kid. I would also  play along to SLAYER albums, and I could play the whole “Decade of Aggression” album.  I also played along to albums by METALLICA.


Did you also learn from tablature transcriptions?

I did tabs because I was a quick learner. I had no patience for learning shit by ear and I am not very good at it.  But if I have a tab I can just look at it and play it like sight-read it. I was really fast at learning songs, and bam, I would play along with the record.  So, to answer your question, I definitely learned everything I could from IRON MAIDEN.  And then there are other records like SLAYER’s “Reign in Blood” and “Seasons in the Abyss”, I learned all that stuff for playing fast.  And then METALLICA’S “Master of Puppets” was the record that helped me learn how to play and sing.  Also MEGADETH’s “Rust in Peace” was a big record for me. 

Another band that was a big learning thing for me for a rhythm guitar playing perspective was ICED EARTH.  All the fast galloping triplets stuff on “Night of the Stormrider”. 

I would learn and play a lot of stuff from the “Days of Purgatory” stuff that they re-recorded.  So that is kind of like a hidden gem when people ask – a lot of people ask me like how you – have you got any tips for improving this in my playing. 

And you know, I took some guitar lessons, but a lot of this stuff I just learned from bands that made me want to pick up the instrument in the first place.  Like if you want to learn how to write music, it is like learning other peoples’ songs and seeing how they are constructed, seeing how parts connect together.  Learning how to play other people’s stuff helped me, and was a lot of fun because you’re practicing techniques and it does not feel monotonous. It is like you are actually having fun just playing music.

So I think a lot of people benefit from just learning peoples’ songs.  If you want to get better at a technique, just learn a song from somebody that does it really well and just do that.  And playing covers is always a great way to learn different techniques. I listen to other people’s solos, and you get a lot of ideas for a lick, and ideas for how to construct a solo.  It has always been a big thing for me to learn from my favourite artists or songs. 


When will we see you next in Europe? 

The next time we come back to Europe will be the festivals next summer.  I am sure we’ll probably be at Nova Rock again, and stuff like that.  So we’ll be doing all of those festivals, and hopefully some kind of headlining tour at the end of 2016.  So we will be back.  Next year will be a lot more European stuff. You’ll be seeing a lot more of us again.

Excellent, thank you Corey. See you next time then.

No problem man.